Gorilla infant born at Riverbanks Zoo

Kazi- the baby gorilla’s mother.

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden has announced the birth of a western lowland gorilla. The infant was born to mom Kazi and dad Cenzoo at 8:10 a.m. on Monday. The entrance to the Zoo’s Botanical Gardens is in West Columbia, at Mohawk Drive and Botanical Parkway.

“This is an exciting time for Riverbanks, our members and guests, and the community,” said John Davis, Director of Animal Care and Welfare at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. “Kazi has been a great mother throughout her pregnancy, and we anticipate that she will continue to provide the best care for her infant.”

With only an estimated 100,000 western lowland gorillas remaining in the wild, the birth is a significant addition to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Gorilla Species Survival PlanĀ® (SSP). For nearly 40 years, SSPs have ensured the continued existence of endangered animals through breeding and transfer plans among AZA-accredited facilities.

22-year-old silverback Cenzoo, 12-year-old Kazi, and two other female gorillas came to Riverbanks in August of 2015 to form the Zoo’s family troop. Davis adds that the unit is extremely cohesive, and all are adapting nicely to the new member of their group.

“The infant began nursing shortly after delivery and appears to be bonding well with mom, Davis said. “The first 72-hours post-partum is the most critical. Animal care staff will continue to closely monitor Kazi and her infant and the entire family troop.”

Gorilla Base Camp will be closed to guests for the next several days while the family troop enjoys time together indoors. Guests, however, will have an opportunity to see Patrick, Riverbanks’ other male silverback, on exhibit daily.

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